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Gaudreau bolting for Tampa

'I can’t wait to get there and get going'
Sarnia Sting netminder in action against the North Bay Battalion in 2023. Photo by Tom Martineau/BayToday.

It was a roller coaster of a day for Corbeil's Ben Gaudreau. 

The Sarnia Sting and Team Canada World Junior gold medallist was re-entering the NHL entry draft which wrapped up Thursday afternoon in Nashville. 

Gaudreau was originally drafted in the third round, 81st overall in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks.

The team had until June 1 of this year to sign Gaudreau to an entry-level contract. However, due to the San Jose Sharks' heavy stockpile of goalie prospects, Gaudreau and his agent Eddie Mio believed a change was necessary so the former Trappers' netminder was free to re-enter the draft. 

Gaudreau realized re-entering the draft was risky, so he opted to stay at home and not head down to Nashville to face potential disappointment.  

After seven rounds, Gaudreau did not see his name come up or get called during the NHL Draft broadcast which aired on Sportsnet.  

However, shortly after the draft ended, Gaudreau received a call from the Tampa Bay Lightning organization and he was invited to their Development Camp which begins July 2 in Tampa. 

"It’s an exciting time I had a good idea the draft was going to go that way so to have the opportunity with this invite I’m very excited and can’t wait to get down there," said Gaudreau, who recently was a celebrity player for a charity ball hockey game against the North Bay North Stars special hockey team at the Noah Strong Ball Hockey Tournament in June at the Bill Barber Complex in Callander. 

Gaudreau will also see a familiar face at Lightning camp, as North Bay's Lucas Edmonds, who was selected in the 3rd round last year by the Lightning, will be at the camp as well. 

"Being able to go to camp with Lucas will be really cool we’ve already been texting about it and he’s given me the run down on it all so I can’t wait to get there and get going," said Gaudreau. 

Gaudreau believes everything happens for a reason and getting the call from a franchise like the Lightning is special. 

"It’s an organization that I’ve always wanted to go to it’s obviously had some history in these past few years but overall is a great organization," he said. 

The Sarnia Sting netminder whose season ended in the Western Conference Finals at the hands of the London Knights, enjoyed a strong post-season for Sarnia, posting three shutouts and a .905 Save Percentage. 

His playoff success followed an up-and-down regular season and a 2023 World Junior Championships gold medal backing up Thomas Milic for Team Canada. 

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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